Sunday, 23 June 2013

A new record fish for the loch!

 Photo01 - John's 17lbs 5oz post spawning Pike!

A new record fish for the loch!

I do enjoy a decent book now and then I often search Google for the freebies they publish online. Often I veer towards local history and when you couple that with fishing from a golden age where Muppetry was in its infancy and charging anglers for advice was not even thought of you end up with a cracker of a book! Well I found such a book last week and it was an absolutely enthralling read, some passages appear to be missing but the treatise covers fully our area, you can access it by following the link at the end of this article. The fish in question is referred to as a “Bull Trout” which I assume is an old term for any very large Trout/Ferox. Bull Trout exist in the USA and Canada and are in fact of the Salvelinus genus the same family as Arctic Charr.

Here is the passage I paid most attention to –

Anglers guide to the rivers and lochs of Scotland by Egbert Blakey 1854


This loch is about three miles in length, and, in

some places, nearly a mile in breadth. The upper

loch which joins it is called the Loch of the Lowes.

It is about a mile in length, and is joined to St.

Mary's by a narrow stream of a few feet in width.

Both waters are well stocked with good-sized trout.

Bull trout have occasionally been caught of great





weight. One in particular was killed by an English

gentleman, in 1846, which weighed nineteen pounds

six ounces. There are also pike, eels, and perch, in

considerable quantities.


The Ileggat, the main feeder of the loch, is a most

fruitful stream for trout. It was in this water that

Hogg, in some of his writings, tells us, that he once

took out of it nearly a cart load of fine trout. "When it

has been long dry weather, this stream becomes ex-

ceedingly small, and will scarcely bear fly fishing ;

but to take it after a few hours' rain, or when it has

subsided into what is called half floods then is the

time to fill a basket. The fish are generally of very

fair size for such a water. Some of two pounds

weight have occasionally been taken, even in the

higher sections of the stream.


The Chapelthorpe and Corse-cleugh streams, that

enter the Lowes Loch, are likewise full of trout.

To be successful in these small but prolific waters,

attention must be paid to their state as to fulness,

for, when very small in volume, it is of little use

the angler troubling himself with them, except it

be for the wildness and grandeur of the scenery in

their respective runs

I have seen almost all kinds of flies used in this

district, and with a fair share of success ; but I have

generally found that the Yarrow requires good-sized

winged flies, and a lightish colour is commonly pre-

ferred to any other. There is here, however, no

great nicety required ; such is my own impression,

at least, from what I have myself seen and heard.






The angler should not visit St. Mary's without

calling at the cottage of Mrs. Eichardson, known

under the cognomen of Tiby Shiels, situated at the

junction of the two lochs. Good accommodations

can be had ; and though the house is small, and its

embellishments of rather primitive cast, yet he must

not be peevish or fretful, seeing that she can furnish

him with a long list of Dukes, and Earls, and Lords,

and Earonets, and Savans, who, in their piscatory

excursions, have from time to time made themselves

happy and cozy under her humble roof.

So there we have it a possible Brown Trout of nineteen pounds six ounces and if it was a Brownie it is clearly the best Brown Trout ever caught on the lochs at least that we know of, a new record for the Trout in our lochs!! He mentions a good stock of Bull Trout which the loch still houses in earlier times probably feeding on the Arctic Charr in the lochs but by the 1850s the Charr had already been rendered extinct for over a hundred years! The fish may have been a Brown Trout we will never know with any certainty. It is however sufficient that this fish is recorded in the club annals for the perusal of those who come later!

The author talks of the Illegat as being the main spawning burn for the loch, I would assume that this is a typo error and he meant the Megget. Similarly he mentions the Corse Cleuch burn which may be a variant name of the time for what we now call Cross Cleuch. The Chapelhope is also referred to as Chapelthorpe and I will enquire of the local’s opinion to try and establish if these were variant names or as I suspect mistakes. There is a huge number of spelling/typo mistakes in the treatise that leads me to think it is probably taken from a draft, it is however relatively easy to decipher the mistakes.

 This is a book to which anglers can still relate to in the present day e.g. he refers to the Douglas burn at the top of Yarrow water as being a haven for poachers due to the prolific numbers of Salmon and Sea Trout entering it to spawn. The poacher’s part does not apply these days but it is indeed a heavily used spawning burn and some of the elder statesmen of the club swear that many of our Trout leave the loch and head up this burn for the spawning ritual.

Yes here we have a man who espouses the real values expected to be found in an angler, cognisant of all the wonders that surround him, self effacing, having respect for the wily Trout that he seeks and a flag carrier for the sport of angling and the character required to call onself a brother of the angle! Click the link to read about the rivers and lochs of Scotland it is a fascinating read! Enjoy!

Nb the author does not speak highly of the river Gala as in this area heavily populated by textile mills abstraction was rife and effluent from the various processes employed were dumped direct into the river. Nowadays however it is much improved and if one is selective numerous yellow bellied Trout may be caught if conditions are right.

Photo 02 - great tits have again occupied prize residence at the boathouse.
Twenty’s on the horizon

As reported last week the fish resident in the lochs have turned to all out feeding with very good numbers caught and a few cracking specimens among them. Well the story continues with further very good catches in numbers and individual weights. Five bags were reported in which the anglers captured up to eight fish for an overnight and day session with three anglers catching four in a day session. Treasurer John Wright bagged a super 17lbs 5oz specimen (photo 01) and a local angler from Kelso reported five Pike including a low twenty! To all those right thinking and respectful anglers who took the trouble to fill out a return we extend our thanks to you! This is where I miss the comments section as the Muppets are silenced yet again, but at least that time expended answering the many thoughtful and relevant comments coupled with a few half witted ones is now mine to enjoy as I see fit! As I said before any Muppet comments received will be published and the perpetrator exposed the following week!

Tight lines!

Casting Cloots!

The caption under the Hawthorn photo last week had a few of you puzzled as to what exactly was meant. Yes two readers have asked that we clarify the phrase. The original phrase goes as follows – “Neer cast a cloot till May is oot”.It comes from mediaeval times and means don’t get rid (cast) of you warm winter clothing (cloot) until the May (Hawthorn blossom) is out. I’ve known this phrase since I was a lad and it is generally a sound bit of advice as we have found out lately. So always keep your thermals and hats on until the hawthorn blossom appears!

Photo 03 - Tory puppet Nick Clegg with a promise!
The wider world in my view!

Whilst the light lasts....

I must admit to a wry smile when I listened to a political dissection of the traitorous puppets – the Lib-Dems. Indeed Puppet Clegg was heard rallying his troops impressing upon them that the party of puppets are now electable and a party of government! Did you ever hear of such nonsense! In Scotland  using figures from Lord Ashcroft --the puppets have lost 66% of voters who voted for them in the 2010 election with a further 18% being undecided as to whether they would support the puppets! In England the figure is less than Scotland at 52% which will see the prospects nof the puppets scattered to the four winds forever!

The Scots have a proud tradition of not forgetting disservices in the past and Puppet Clegg I am afraid committed political hari-kari when just after the 2010 election he about turned on what was a key election promise on tuition fees. The Scottish public have not found it possible to forgive the Puppet for this transgression middle England will treat them less harshly! But if only it were so simple, the puppets have colluded, conspired and lied in order to seize their one and only chance of power! Showing their true colours to be nearer blue than red they betrayed the honest people who voted for them caring not for their views rather hatching conservative policy making them out to be the curtailers of far right Tory policy! It was a gamble but one which failed spectacularly. Puppet Clegg made the fatal mistake of ignoring the views of their grassroots and come election time will pay a very heavy price!

It is estimated that two thirds of the current puppet MPs will pay the ultimate price for Puppet Cleggs crazed attempt at wielding power. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever, now soon to be relegated to political oblivion where they belong the puppets betrayal of the electorate is the most serious offence in political domain. Puppet Clegg would do well to reflect on the following saying which typifies the stance of the electorate –“Whilst the light lasts we will remember and in the darkness we will not forget”! The puppets card has been indelibly marked!

Out of intensive care!

 Yes the words of minister without a clue Geoffrey Osborne (according to Obama) that our economy is out of intensive care yet ask any working class person and they will tell you the economy has been left in total neglect in a porters broom cupboard! These jokers take a bit of beating, the heartbeat of our economy grows fainter by the day after prediction after prediction falls flat and the goalposts are moved accordingly. There is much money circulating in the upper echelons of society but down here things are very tight indeed not that the posh boys would have any clue!

The national debt rises unabated in spite of Gideon’s best efforts but let’s not be too harsh he has only had 3 years to bring us to a point worse that which we experienced in 2010! I don’t know how much longer the country can withstand this level of bungling with the carnival of Europe beckoning the situation is certain to only get worse! Ruled by millionaire out of touch posh boys the Victorian values of maister and worker loom ever closer. I don’t know what kind of a society will ensue from this shambles but you can bet the words fairness and equity will be conspicuous by their absence!

The royal baby!

Universally everyone in the country is pleased when a child is born without complication and the royal baby will be no different! Shame then on the young aristocrats who have chosen to give birth to their child in a private establishment at a cost of £5,000/day the payment of such which will ultimately fall to us! Are the facilities in the NHS the establishment open to the working classes insufficient? Do these private clinics offer a better level of service? Is the level of health care dependent on your bank balance? The answer to all these questions is in the affirmative, the two tier health care system is still with us! The rich make their choices whilst we take what we can get! Yet another example demonstrative of the fact these is very little that money cannot buy! The people’s royals? Never in a hundred years!

 Shame on the pair of them!

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